Re: [OPE-L] Marxian trivia question

From: dlaibman@JJAY.CUNY.EDU
Date: Tue Mar 21 2006 - 08:42:39 EST

For Paul Bullock (and everyone else, of course!)

These references are rather old, but they may still be useful.  Dirk
Struik, a Marxist, mathematician at MIT, and *Science & Society*
founding editor, wrote two articles in *Science & Society*: "Concerning
Mathematics," Vol. 1 (1936), beginning p. 81; "Marx and Mathematics,"
Vol. 12 (1948), beginning p. 181.

(Information from an old index, which does not give too many details.
Unfortunately, *Science &s Society* has lost its office space at John
Jay College, and our back files are all in storage, so I can't look at
actual copies of these issues.)

All best,

David Laibman, Editor, S&S

My recall is that he was working on providing a foundation for
the calculus but it is questionably whether his results have any
advantages over the work of Cauchy.

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Bullock
Sent: 19 March 2006 21:19
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Marxian trivia question

Which independent discovery did marx make in mathematics. 1000 pages of
notes were left, published in the USSR in Russian, and a selection was once
pub'd in English by ( I think New Park Pubs in London). But if anyone can
give me refs to any articles that actually look at this work I should be

Paul Bullock
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Marxian trivia question

> [Tuesday, March 14 marked the 123rd anniversary of the death
> of Karl Marx.   In the year 2117 the world will remember Marx
> on the occasion of  the 234th anniversary.]
> A:  It will be 111 years before the anniversary of Marx's death
> once again will numerically be in an exactly ascending sequence.
> In solidarity, Jerry
> Frederick Engels' Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx
> Highgate Cemetery, London. March 17, 1883
> On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the
> greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for
> scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his
> armchair, peacefully gone to sleep -- but for ever.
> An immeasurable loss has been sustained both by the militant
> proletariat of Europe and America, and by historical science, in the
> death of this man. The gap that has been left by the departure of
> this mighty spirit will soon enough make itself felt.
> Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature,
> so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the
> simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that
> mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing,
> before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that
> therefore the production of the immediate material means, and
> consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given
> people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the
> state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas
> on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the
> light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice
> versa, as had hitherto been the case.
> But that is not all. Marx also discovered the special law of motion
> governing the present-day capitalist mode of production, and the
> bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The
> discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in
> trying to solve which all previous investigations, of both bourgeois
> economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark.
> Two such discoveries would be enough for one lifetime. Happy the man
> to whom it is granted to make even one such discovery. But in every
> single field which Marx investigated -- and he investigated very
> many fields, none of them superficially -- in every field, even in
> that of mathematics, he made independent discoveries.
> Such was the man of science. But this was not even half the man.
> Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force.
> However great the joy with which he welcomed a new discovery in some
> theoretical science whose practical application perhaps it was as
> yet quite impossible to envisage, he experienced quite another kind
> of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes
> in industry, and in historical development in general. For example,
> he followed closely the development of the discoveries made in the
> field of electricity and recently those of Marcel Deprez.
> For Marx was before all else a revolutionist. His real mission in
> life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of
> capitalist society and of the state institutions which it had
> brought into being, to contribute to the liberation of the modern
> proletariat, which he was the first to make conscious of its own
> position and its needs, conscious of the conditions of its
> emancipation. Fighting was his element. And he fought with a
> passion, a tenacity and a success such as few could rival. His work
> on the first Rheinische Zeitung (1842), the Paris Vorwarts (1844),
> the Deutsche Brusseler Zeitung (1847), the Neue Rheinische Zeitung
> (1848-49), the New York Tribune (1852-61), and, in addition to
> these, a host of militant pamphlets, work in organisations in Paris,
> Brussels and London, and finally, crowning all, the formation of the
> great International Working Men's Association -- this was indeed an
> achievement of which its founder might well have been proud even if
> he had done nothing else.
> And, consequently, Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man
> of his time. Governments, both absolutist and republican, deported
> him from their territories. Bourgeois, whether conservative or ultra-
> democratic, vied with one another in heaping slanders upon him. All
> this he brushed aside as though it were a cobweb, ignoring it,
> answering only when extreme necessity compelled him. And he died
> beloved, revered and mourned by millions of revolutionary fellow
> workers -- from the mines of Siberia to California, in all parts of
> Europe and America -- and I make bold to say that, though he may
> have had many opponents, he had hardly one personal enemy.
> His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.

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